Many patterns in magazines cost £60 to £100 to make in the suggested yarn which is out of budget for lots of you. In this series I look at lower priced yarns that I love and how they can be substituted.
I am an advocate of using the best yarn you can afford because the hours of work you put into creating a garment deserve the finest materials but lets celebrate the yarns that are great but light on the pocket too.
Don’t be fooled by the name, this yarn really feels like a sports weight so is an ideal substitution where you see this weight used. Rico Baby costs around £2.70 a ball. It is 50% acrylic, 50% polyamide and has a whopping 165m to a 50g ball. This means is is light to wear too. It is a very rounded yarn and incredibly soft. If I was given a ball of this without the label I would be convinced it was merino, it is that soft, smooth and nice to work with. It doesn’t split and it washes and wears really well. (I have a ripple scarf made in this yarn that has been worn a lot in the past 2 years and it looks great still) The colour range is wonderful for a budget yarn with more than 20 colours ranging from bolds, neutrals and pastels. The palette feels very contemporary.
As a means of comparison (and to check that I wasn’t mad calling it sport weight when it calls itself DK) I crocheted up a small swatch in the same stitch pattern as the Bartsia Cardigan I made for The Crochet Project.
I got the same tension using the same size hook (not mad then!) and comparing the two fabrics the Milla Mia has slightly better drape and is a little softer (it is a ridiculously nice yarn!) but as you can see from the photo the stitch definition and look of the yarn are incredibly similar.
The Rico baby makes an excellent budget substitution and the price difference is substantial. To make Bartsia in a size L in Milla Mia costs around £60 while the Rico Baby would set you back about £24.